Tag Archives: self-publishing

Small But Mighty

Did you know it’s National Small Business Week? With a team of just ten people, Gorham Printing most definitely fits in the small business category. That ten-person team includes our owner, Kurt, as well as the production crew, customer service reps and administrators, design and prepress staff, and our very own marketing director. Although we are located in Washington State, and proudly serve a large base of customers in our greater Pacific Northwest community, the majority of our books are shipped to customers all over the United States, including Hawaii and Alaska.

Between 2000 and 5000 books come out of our shop on a weekly basis. We usually have between 75 and 125 individual titles making their way through the design, prepress, proofing, and production phases on a given day.

Not only are we a small business ourselves, but we support other small businesses whose models and practices involve printed material in book form. We design and print manuals, field guides, textbooks, workbooks, spiritual and religious texts, cookbooks, and how-to books for experts in a wide array of fields.

The late Tom Newton started printing books with us well over a decade ago. The story of his book is somewhat mythic in our shop. Tom was teaching auto shop at a high school in California and looking for a textbook about how cars work when he realized such a book

Newton Spines

We are binding a run of 3000 today!

did not exist. So, he wrote that book. Currently in its twenty-second printing, with at least 2000 books in each run (usually 3000!), How Cars Work is thought to be the book we’ve printed the most copies of. Tom’s daughter has decided to carry on her father’s business, and is also exploring the possibility of producing an ebook!

FiskeNewFinalCoverPrint

 

 

We were very excited to hear from Leavenworth-based yogi Holly Fiske when she brought The Book of Handstands to our shop in the summer of 2016. Holly sells her book along with a line of adventure apparel at wildmovements.com.

Mike and Angela Chute are the owners of RoseSolutions, a Rhode Island-based landscaping business. They deepened the integrity of their business model by writing and publishing Roses for New England: A Guide to Sustainable Rose Gardening and the companion spiral-bound journal, Rose Gardening By Season: A Journal for Rose-Book_Cover_LightenedPassionate Gardeners. Not only can local clients hire them for landscape work, but rose gardeners all over the region can benefit from the years of knowledge they’ve compiled to share in these volumes. They also speak at garden centers in the area, which is a great way to supplement books sales on their website, rosesolutions.net.

Are you a small business owner? Our small business wants to help your small business grow by harnessing your knowledge, products, and services in the pages of a book!

eBook Options at Gorham Printing

Did you know that we not only produce printed books of exceptional quality, but eBook files as well? Read on to learn more about Gorham Printing’s eBook services!

Files & Pricing

The two eBook files types are EPUB and MOBI. The MOBI is the file that runs exclusively on the Amazon Kindle and can be sold on Amazon. The EPUB can run on all other tablets and e-readers and can be sold through online venues such as Barnes & Noble.

Our eBook pricing is a simple formula based on the final page count of your print file. For $1.70 per page plus a $70 flat fee, we will submit your print file to our preferred conversion company to be set up in both EPUB and MOBI file types.

Note that in some cases, particularly for children’s books, only EPUB “fixed layout” output is possible. Despite the single file type output, these conversions can often be more complex and result in a higher cost than anticipated. If we learn your conversion cost will be higher than the price our formula calculates, we will notify you as soon as possible so you can decide if you’d like to proceed.

What’s the Process?

When you submit an order with an eBook included, your eBook conversion will not begin until you approve your proofs for the final production of your print books. When we receive your signed approval for the print books, we will submit your print file for conversion within several business days. We will learn the firm price for conversion at this time, and be in touch if the conversion service reports any unexpected prices or foresees any problems with your book’s ability to become an eBook.

The conversion process takes two to three weeks from the date we submit your file to the conversion service. Once we receive your EPUB and MOBI files from the conversion service, we send them right to you.

Where can I sell my eBook?

Once you have eBook files, you can set them up for sale on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), Barnes & Noble Nook Press, or through a personal website. The process for setting up a sales page on KDP or Nook Press is relatively straight forward, but you might prefer to let us handle it. We can set your eBook up for sale on Amazon and/or Barnes & Noble for $100 each. We set up your direct deposit, your tax information, and your sales page with a price you determine.

A note on how to price your eBook: Amazon will give you a 70% royalty if you price your book between $2.99 and $9.99. If you price your book outside these parameters, you’ll get a 35% royalty. Barnes & Noble’s royalty is always 65%.

You can add an eBook to your order in our Quote Generator.

As always, the friendly staff at Gorham Printing is here to take your call and answer any questions you might have.

 

Don’t Forget Shipping!

Books are heavy and we need to get them to you when they’re finished. If you don’t live near enough to pick up your books at our shop, we’ll ship them to you via UPS Ground. This is the shipper we’ve found to be the least expensive relative to speed of delivery.

If you’re curious about the cost of shipping your book order, set up an account in our free, instant Quote Generator. Enter the specs of your job, click “continue” on the quantity you’d like to see the full quote for, and view the shipping estimate about two-thirds of the way down the quote.

We can coordinate freight shipments for orders that fill over thirteen boxes.

 

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Karrie taking care of business in the bindery

What about split shipments?

We’re happy to coordinate shipments of books to different addresses. Submit your order with a hold and contact Kamra to submit quantities and addresses for shipping to multiple locations.

Remember, delayed shipping information will slow your order. Submit your special shipping instructions as close to the beginning of your order as possible to ensure prompt production times.

UPS Ship Times

Don’t forget to account for shipping from Washington State to your location when you’re thinking about the time table for your book’s production, especially if you need your books for a special event.

Notes on UPS

Be sure to submit accurate, valid addresses on your order. We enter the information we have, and if that information is inaccurate, re-routing during transit can incur additional shipping costs.

Be sure to include a physical address in your shipping information. UPS Will not deliver finished books to a USPS Post Office Box.

“Why Do I Have To Pay For Overruns?”

This is one of the most common questions we receive from our self-publishing clients after they receive their final invoice. The answer is simple: quality control. Mishaps in various book production processes are an unavoidable aspect of the book printing industry, so we print extra components in order to ensure we can send you a complete order of the highest possible quality.

Our terms and conditions.

Our terms and conditions as they appear on your quote before it becomes an order.

When we print your book, we will print up to 10% more book blocks and covers than the quantity listed on your order. For example, for an order of 100 books, we may print 110 book blocks and 110 covers. Some of those covers may print with a streak in the toner and will be considered unusable by our print technicians. Some covers might pick up a bubble in the laminating machine. Most common are mishaps with the binding and trimming machines. Slim spines, landscape books, and custom trim sizes are all trickier to bind and cut.

Clockwise from the top left: A book block destroyed by the binding machine; a book cut short by the trimmer; three covers stuck to one text block by the binding machine.

Clockwise from the top left: A book block destroyed by the binding machine; a book cut short by the trimmer; three covers stuck to one text block by the binding machine. You do NOT pay for these mishaps – you only pay for perfect books!

Remember, your final invoice reflects only the cost of perfect books. For example, of that 100-book order, you will most likely receive and pay for 106 or 107 copies. And, we charge for the overruns based on the production cost only; pre-press and design fees are removed from the per-book cost calculation of your overruns.

The cost of your overruns will appear in the Additional Charges field of your invoice.

The cost of your overruns will appear in the Additional Charges field of your invoice.

As always, we are happy to answer any questions or concerns you might have about our book printing policies and procedures. Just give us a call!

Fonts, Faults and Foibles

No TNRWhen reading a book, the body style typeface or font is generally not something you notice right away. However, it has quite a bit to do with the readability of your book. You don’t want to curl up with a suspense novel and find you have a headache two chapters in from eye strain. No matter how thrilling the storyline, if the font style and leading is hard to read, you’re going to lose your audience. Our graphic designers here at Gorham Printing have years of experience in book design.

Take a book off your shelf (let’s stay with fiction) and open to any page. The body text is generally a serif font, meaning there are tiny feet at the bottom of most letters to help guide your eyes across the line of words.  There are dozens of readable fonts such as Garamond, Minion, or Arno Pro used for text layout.

What you won’t find in any book industry standard layout is Times New Roman. What seems most difficult for self-publishing authors to realize is just because TNR is the default font for your word processing software does not mean it should be used for your book. Times New Roman was created for newspaper print, its narrow for typesetting in small columns.

The leading or spacing between the lines of text also helps with the ease of readability. The term leading is derived from the days of hot metal type when strips of lead were placed between lines of type to provide line spacing. Your text should not be single spaced nor double-spaced but somewhere in between. One rule of thumb is to make the leading 20% larger than the font size. So if you used a 12 pt font, your line spacing or leading should be around 14.4 pt.

Sans serif or decorative fonts can be used for chapter titles. However, when it comes to text layout, more is not better. Keep your styles down to two or three fonts only. Too many fonts and your book is going to look frenetic or too busy. Let’s say you used Garamond for the text body. You could use a smaller Garamond in small caps for the page headers and then a sans serif or decorative font for the chapter names.  Or use a sans serif font for both the page headers and the chapter names.

Make your book look professional, as if it came from one of the big houses in New York. You’ve worked hard to finish the story, be sure it’s dressed out properly for your audience.

Editing – 5, 6, 7, 8!

As some of you will recognize, the numbers (5, 6, 7, 8) are usually expressed by a choreographer before a dance sequence starts. What does dancing have to do with editing? Quite a bit actually, both are about practicing, doing something over and over until it becomes almost second nature. Editing your manuscript is like doing a difficult routine of movement. You want to catch the passive voice or the grammar glitches. The more you understand, practice or do the more easily these revisions and re-edits flow.

Authors with the most success, the larger followings, have their books professionally edited before the text goes into design. (Making edits after design can be expensive whether you self publish or are working with a traditional publisher.) Professional editors vary in price and you’ll want to be sure you’re compatible – the editor knows your style or genre of writing. Typically sending them a few sample pages to critique will be enough to know if this is a person you can work with. However, the cleaner you make your manuscript, the less time and money it will take to give it that professional edge.

Whether it’s shuffle, ball change, the electric slide or a two-step, every dance has certain movements, certain beats. So should your manuscript. Edit with the idea of looking for the rhythm in your words. Take each sentence and see if it flows or feels clunky. You can have a very emotional scene and trip your reader flat on their face by grammar.

“The children cowered in the dark corner, memories of they’re grandmother’s death …”

Ouch, the stubbed toe will break the connection for your reader. Too many of these in a book and the reader will put it down and walk away. Practice editing, until these jump out at you. Or at least as many as possible before having a professional editor take over.

Decide on what level of editing you want. Here are the levels listed on Gorham Printing‘s page about editing:

  • Copy Editing (also called proofreading) is the simplest level of editing. A professional who proofreads your manuscript will check for punctuation, grammar, sentence structure, spelling, and typographical errors.
  • Line Editing is more advanced. An editor providing this service will help you develop your voice. This process will explore word choice, paragraph structure, flow of narrative, language style, and readability.
  • Developmental Editing will hone the storytelling aspect of your work. Both fiction and nonfiction require a narrative structure that encourages the reader to continue reading. For novels and in many cases memoirs, your editor will provide feedback on plot, character, theme and symbolism. Rearrangement, rewriting, and new writing may be recommended. Nonfiction books may need work with chapter/section organization, clarity, and indexing.
  • Research Editing may also be necessary for works of nonfiction. In this situation, your editor will provide citation verification and check for citation structure and plagiarism.

If you want to be noticed at the dance, or in this case stand out on the book shelf, practice or edit your work until it flows naturally. You can do it! One book I recommendon grammar and editing is The Frugal Editor by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, a great book to have in your collection.

Puppies at Gorham Printing

The three-day Memorial Day weekend is almost here and one thing on my to-do list (above working on my sequel romantic comedy) in my other spare time was to pick up two sweet bundles of fluff I was adopting from a woman in Vancouver, Washington. Two brothers (toy Pomeranians) born April 3 would be old enough to leave home and start a new adventure in Olympia. Best laid plans and circumstances change, of course. It came to be that the pups could be delivered Wednesday night.

Guess who I brought to the shop? That’s right, Brugh and Bouncer are spending these days at Gorham Printing

Kathleen Shaputis, Customer Service, and Brugh and Bouncer.

Kathleen Shaputis, Customer Service,
and Brugh and Bouncer.

All two pounds of them, each, maybe. Working with self-publishing authors all day, I typically hear dogs barking over the phone as the author talks about their book. I knew they’d probably understand if squeaky noises came from this side of the phone for a change but the boys have been fairly quiet.

Memoirs, novels and spiritual revelation books have come across my desk today and I wonder if the author has a dog. Writing can be a very solitary process, yet a warm four-footed friend at your feet helps keep you grounded and not alone. And piddle parties are a natural break to get up from the desk and stretch now and again.

Now time to get back to work.